The travel upriver (first the Rhine then the Neckar by boat, then on foot) is uneventful.
You are assigned guest quarters at Durenmar.
Murion makes you wait for only one day, which - as you are told - is a sign of her favor. She listens to your account. If she is surprised by Archimedes joining the group, she doesn't show it. She dwells on Rabanus' ritual and expresses her displeasure at his foolishness, but is mollified when she hears of his death*. She also wonders how it was possible for the Trier magi to have covenant in just a few rooms, and asks if the decision for the Westerwald is a permanent one or a temporary one - if Kaub island becomes available later on.
I assume he has died on the boat shortly after leaving Kaub - the player hasn't posted in a long time. A sudden botch fever just when he seemed to be getting better...
“We intend to proceed to Westerwald. It is our intention to have the new covenant recognized at the next tribunal, so we cannot afford to waste time - If the situation in Kaub resolves in our favour in the next few months, we will definitely seize the opportunity and change our decision. If it takes longer then that...”
“it would no longer matter. We have very little resources and time, and If we already invested them all in Westerwald we will not be able to revert the decision”
He looks at the rest of the Magi for silent confirmation before continuing
“And that brings us to the reason we travelled here now. We would like to see what you are willing to invest into this venture. We have great need for men and material so we can proceed with the construction as early as possible.”
"Little it is we demand of you, and much will be given. All I need is the right to use your votes for any tribunals until 1230. In many votes, Durenmar doesn't have apreference so you can decide on your own. I have prepared a written statement which you will sign later.
THis is what I offer in exchange:
Firstly, I have 50 pounds of silver for your enterprise to get you started. Ten of them as a chest of silver pennies, and forty as writs for the Jews (accepted in all major cities like Trier, Cologne or Mainz).
There is a rumor that Fengheld might prefer to see your covenant as a new chapterhouse but we will support your true and full independence. I have exchanged letters with Horst who has spoken on your behalf with the council of Fengheld. With our support you will be an independent covenant.
We've also negotiated with the other covenants. We can convince Triamore, Durenmar, Waddenzee, Oculos Septentrionalis, Crintera, Fengheld, Irencilla and Roznov to vote for you, although some of the other covenants may demand minor services for their recognition. Dankmar has surprisingly announced that under certain circumstances they might accept a new covenant (but they didn't say what it was).
We will offer each of you to spend one season in the Great Library - what you copy may be taken to your home covenant. No calf-and cow oath applies. In addition to that, you may have a casting tablet for an Aegis ritual cast by a master, perfectly balancing vis cost and protection."
She leans back:
The text reads:
I hereby declare that I entrust Murion ex Bonisagus with my voting sigil so she can vote on my behalf at Tribunals before 1230 as a sign of my trust in her wisdom. I state that this promise cannot be rescinded.
I, Murion ex Bonisagus, promise and swear to further the foundation of a new covenant by .... I shall use his vote wisely and not use it to vote against him or his covenant.
Arturous signs the contract and thanks Murion for her generosity – the terms are better than he had hoped for.
He will clarify with Murion that the copying of the text could be done by a scribe of his choice (it is otherwise doubtful that he himself could copy a summae in just one season).
Honorus pauses as he reads. "I will have to send a note to Fengheld to get my sigil. It is held by Stentorius. If he refuses to hand it over I will withdraw from the Covenant. " Honorus signs the document.
Murion looks at Honorus as if he was an unpleasant insect. "Oh, you. Tremere. I wouldn't worry. I am sure Fengheld will want its..." she hesitates "cordial friend to become a member of this new covenant. You'll have to ask Stentorius to sign a guarantee for your voting sigil.
I don't think the old man will hand it over to you, but he'll hand it over to me for the next few years. There is too much at stake for him, I think"
She smiles (which is a really scary sight to behold).
Murion frowns at Arturous: "I am offering you the right to copy the most valuable tomes in our possession. Only magi are allowed to touch them. If you transfer this privilege to another gauntletted magus, it is no problem. But no foolish apprentice or clumsy mundane fool can be trusted with these works."
Hildegard looks interested: "Archmaga, it might be less travel for us, if just one of us scribes the books in four seasons."
Murion: "As I said, if just one of you wants to do this, he or she is welcome to scribe for the others. And take your time: The offer is valid for as long as I am the leader of House Bonisagus."
Arturous pays no mind to Murion's apparent displeasure and just nods
"Agreed, I will find another Magus in good standing to do the scribing for me. You must understand, my time is more valuable to me then raw vis.”
A day or two later, a short, young maga approaches Arturous and the others, after a librarian points them out to her.
She wears the no-nonsense leather clothes of a craftsman used to working in a forge, and at her belt is a number of small silver sticks (about a finger length and width each). A woolen coat bearing the sigils of both House Verditus and the Elder gild keeps out the chill.
[color=grey]"Pardon my intrusion, sodales, but I was led to believe that you were looking for a mage-scribe?"
While at Durenmar, Carolinus will write a letter to Beatrice (the traveling weather witch), and ask the redcaps to deliver the letter and the slate with the chalk inscription to her and her apprentice. He has been keeping the slate carefully wrapped to keep the chalk from smudging.
To Beatrice ex Bonisagus from Carolinus ex Jerbiton
Salve, Sodalis. I hope this letter finds you in good health and fortune. My companions and I recently enjoyed the hospitality of a farming family in the village near Kaub Island, and discovered that your apprentice, Bernadette, was the eldest daughter of the family. If she bears resemblance to her younger siblings, I trust that she is an eager and capable student. Her family showed us great kindness, and I would consider it a boon if you were to present her with the slate that accompanies this letter. Her sister wrote the message after only a few lessons, and presented it proudly to us, asking us to deliver her fond message.
I understand you have some talent in the area of weather and are quite skilled in the form of Auram. I have some small skill in this form myself, and wondered what you think about ...
I wish you safe travels, and look forward to the day when our paths may cross.
Carolinus asks the redcap to be careful with the package.
He is also hoping to start a correspondence with Beatrice.
Carolinus breaks into a grin at the new maga's approach, and rolls his eyes at Hildegard and Honorus' suspicious questioning.
Well met, Sodalis. I am Carolinus. Your offer is most welcome, but I think we may not need your services just at this time. Come sit with us, and tell us of your interest in plying your fingers to scribbling rather that spelling. He smiles widely, gesturing to a nearby table.
Lynchessa bows deeply and carefully, like a student practicing her lessons. [color=grey]"Greetings and fondest wishes for a good day, Honorus. It was that magus over there, Petrus, who pointed you out to me. I am Lynchessa, fillia Norbert Gunthar, doctrinae Verditii. I had mentioned to him, Petrus that is, that lacking a home to return to, I was of a mind to render scribal services to Durenmar that I might be allowed to stay.* Petrus suggested that your group might have a better offer, though he wouldn't say why or what."
*Meaning, the option for magi to earn a single season of study at Durenmar in exchange for a season spent scribing copies. Typically considered a demeaning duty any but apprentices.
Lynchessa glances at Hildegard as she takes the seat Carolinus offers. [color=grey]"I will admit, I've heard that some members of my Gild might be soon making a more...well, let us say, a less gracious introduction between us, and that I'm pleased to make your acquaintance before politics flavors our opinions of each other.
"As for my story, well...I've just passed my Gauntlet, and have no desire to return to Roznov, my pater's home. I chose to join the Elder Gild against his wishes, you see. I suppose you'd call it an act of rebellion, if you were unkind. But if you wished to be my friend, say instead that I desired to make my own way, to break the bonds of obligation early and prove that I can take care of myself.
"Besides, the architecture there is just atrocious, and they would never let me do anything about it.
"I hear you've all had some adventures recently. Shall I buy the first round while you share your heroic tales?"
OOC: I'm feeling pretty indifferent about the grey-on-yellow. Opinions?
Lynchessa gets very shy in response to this, and insists that she's done little of interest. She's spent the most of last fifteen years locked away in a lab or a library. The most interesting thing she's done in all that time is join the Elder Gild, to honor the faeries who raised her. She's very excited by Durenmar, mostly because it is much bigger than the few rooms she'd been confined to for so long. She recalls every moment of the last several seasons as if they were the most exciting things that could ever happen to a person. She spends a preposterous amount of time telling the story of how a grog kept saying hello to her, and then it turned out he was on his rounds, and she'd been standing in the same spot so mesmerized by the stars that she hadn't noticed the hours go by between each greeting. She laughs so hard over the story -- before reaching the punchline, mind you -- that she starts to cry, giggling and sniffling and trying to explain that she had forgotten how beautiful the night was.